- Sermon Notes
His Name Shall be Called
Over time, many traditions have been added to the celebration of Christmas and for many, it’s the traditions that make Christmas special. And there are traditions from around the world that are certainly interesting.
In Japan, the traditional Christmas dinner is Kentucky Fried Chicken. This is so popular that families have to make reservations early to be certain to get their KFC on Christmas Day.
In Finland, they visit a cemetery over Christmas. Graveside candles are lit; entire cemeteries are lighted. Three fourths of all Finnish families visit a cemetery at Christmas, mostly on Christmas Eve. Special traffic arrangements handle the crowds.
In Venezuela, people go to Christmas Eve service on roller skates. So many people skate to church on Christmas Eve they have to close the streets. It kind of gives new meaning to the expression ‘holy rollers.’
And of course, who could forget Christmas fruitcake? Which is actually a strange name for it because it is neither fruity nor cakey. In fact, the whole concept of regifting originated with fruitcake. It preserves so well it can be regifted for years.
In many ways, these traditions have slowly moved the world away from the reason God sent His Son, but the world is changing; it’s becoming more dangerous all the time. So much so, that many with spiritual discernment can sense storm clouds on the horizon; there is a deep evil that is rising.
This is a broken, evil world and while there is greater darkness, it will also be a time of revival. Darkness will get darker, but a light will also dawn.
When Isaiah wrote the prophecy of Isaiah 9 it was a dark time for the nation of Israel. A terrible king ruled in Judah who was turning Israel away from God to go after the gods of the world, gods of worldliness and licentiousness. The result was predictable; they became weaker as a nation as darkness and turmoil came over them.
But at the darkest hour, God gave the greatest promise. There is no question that these verses give us the greatest promise known to man; that God would send an answer to the darkness.
God’s answer is His Son. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.” And the promises, hope, and help are given to us in the name spoken of in this prophecy.
God doesn’t just stand by idly and watch as people destroy their lives, He does something about it; God is on the move, He is pursuing relationship with us. God sent His Son, He is knocking on the door of hearts, He wants people have life.
Isaiah speaks of the name that is given for the One who is the coming hope for the world. We can gain great insight into the purpose and meaning of Christmas when we understand the significance of His name.
I. Hope is On the Way
- Verses 2-3 – The people who walk in darkness will see a great light… You will increase their gladness; they will be glad in Your presence
- The promise is for those who need hope. Darkness is oppressive to the soul…
A. The anguished soul needs a promise
Illus – Reading the news has become an anxious exercise. What is happening in this world causes many to be deeply concerned.
History is changing before our very eyes as troubles are only increasing. North Korea is a war waiting to happen; and what will happen when Iran has completed the development of nuclear weapons? Will it fall into the hands of Hamas or Hezbollah?
We’re now seeing the sign of the times as the nations align against Israel.
- It’s one thing to groan in anguish under a massive burden of troubles, but it’s another thing to yearn for God to give an answer.
Job 19:25-27, For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. Oh, how my heart yearns within me! NKJV
B. Be glad in His presence
- The land of Zebulun and Naphtali was the tip of the spear you might say, they received the worst of the oppression in those days when Assyria brought their armies from the North.
- But the place of darkest oppression God will make glorious because it was there that God would send His Son…
Matthew 4:13-14, And leaving Nazareth, He came and settle in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet…
- The response to God’s answer, the fulfilling of a promise to send His Son should’ve brought joy and gladness; like the gladness of harvest, like when men rejoice after a great victory.
- Verse 4 – When God breaks the yoke of your burden and the staff on your shoulders and the rod of your oppressor, joy is the right response.
Psalm 126:1-3, “When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us; and we are glad.”
- That’s why Christmas should be a happy and joy filled time of year, because it’s based on the hope of a promise.
- That hope, that promise, all that God gives is found in His Son… And given in His name.
- You receive God’s answer when you receive God’s Son; everything is based on your relationship to Him.
II. Jesus is the Answer for the World Today
- Jesus is also called Immanuel, God with us, that’s God answer, God will be with us.
- “And His name shall be called…” In other words, God’s answer, God’s hope, God’s promise is found in Jesus’ name.
- How powerful is His name? Some people use His name as a cuss word. “Jesus Christ!” they say. Why? They’re trying to reduce His power in their lives. That’s the only way they can handle His name. But hey, if they get to bring up His name, then I will also.
Philippians 2:9-11, God has bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.
A. He is Wonderful Counselor
- The scripture tells us that the Lord will do marvelous, wonderful things.
1 Corinthians 2:9, Things which no eye has seen and ear has not heard; and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.
Ephesians 3:20, Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond all we could ask or even think.
- He is filled with all wisdom; His counsel is good and wise. In this messed up world with messed up lives, wonderful counsel is needed.
Illus – It’s a light of revelation, like when a teenager, who was absolutely convinced that you didn’t know anything, that they’re going to figure this out on their own, then grows up and actually asks you for advice.
- In Hebrew, the word, counselor means to “stand alongside.” You can imagine the help we would have if God were whispering in our ear.
Isaiah 30:21, Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
Luke 11:21, “Behold; one greater than Solomon is here.”
- His counsel is only helpful if you walk in it, if you take hold and apply it to your life.
Luke 6:47-48, “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.”
B. He is Mighty God
- Is there anything more clear to declare that Jesus is God? He has power over all things.
- He turned the water into wine, healed lepers, raised the dead, has authority over demons and calmed the storm with a word of His command.
Luke 8:25, And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the sea, and they obey Him?”
App – Life is heavy, and it is only when we recognize Him to be our “Mighty God” do we then turn to Him to help us carry it. This is the stuff of faith. And He would ask the same question of us, “Where is your faith?”
C. He is the prince who brings peace
- The government will be on his shoulders and there will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace.
- He is the Prince who brings peace; peace with God as we will see, but it also means peace on earth. Why?
- Because He is the only One with enough authority to bring peace and silence the enemies of God. Just like He spoke to the storm He will speak to the rulers of the earth.
Isaiah 40:23-31 …It is He who reduces the rulers of the earth to nothing.
- True peace will only come when we are made right with God.
Colossians 1:19-20, For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
John 14:27, “My peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let your heart be fearful.”
Illus – We love the nativity scene and have several displays. It is a picture of those who come to Jesus to honor His birth. We have a saying, “Wise men still seek Him.” That is true, but we need to understand that He is the One seeking you, He knocks on the door of your heart, you open the door of your heart and let Him into your life.
Isaiah 9:1-7 NASB
1 But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make itglorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.